“If you can survive this, you can survive anything.”
Those are the last words my father said to me as he dropped me off to go to wrestling camp in my senior year of high school. The coach encouraged all of us to participate in a week of intense character and muscle building with college coaches and athletes at Lehigh University.
It sounded great when the coach told us, and I begged my parents to let me go. As I stared at the bus idling in the parking lot, it felt like a huge mistake.
He nudged me out of the car, said the words, and drove off. I considered how fast I’d have to run to catch the car at the streetlight, but he was gone. I had no choice, except to survive my own poorly considered decision.
Every day of our lives and careers we are faced with decisions. Most are trivial, but sometimes we’re staring down some serious, career-altering challenges. Learning to survive is something genetically coded into our DNA, yet we often walk away from challenges that might make us better people.
There’s always going to be a challenge. Something just slightly beyond the you that you think you are and the you that you need to become in survival mode.